Business News

Futures Hold Small Gains After GDP Report

U.S stock index futures held small gains Wednesday after an updated report on economic growth in the second quarter was in line with estimates.

The U.S. economy fared slightly better than initially thought in the second quarter, expanding at a 1.7-percent annual rate, according to the Commerce Department. Still, the growth rate remained too slow to shut the door on further monetary easing from the Fed, keeping futures slightly higher.

Also on the economic front, investors will watch the release of the Fed's latest Beige Book, its region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy, at 2pm ET.

And at 10 am, the National Association of Realtors will issue pending home sales for July, measuring contracts signed, but not closed.

Brent and October crude oil futures pared gains in early trade on Wednesday as Hurricane Isaac hit land in Louisiana without causing major damage to production facilities on the U.S Gulf Coast.

Apple's request for an injunction against certain Samsung products will be heard by a judge on December 6. The request follows the iPhone maker's victory in the patent case versus its rival last week.

Best Buy dipped after Oppenheimer said a buyout of the consumer-electronics retailer is unlikely, even though the situation is fluid and a deal is feasible, as potential private-equity buyers will be scared away by a declining business model.

Among earnings, H.J. Heinz posted better-than-expected earnings, a day after the ketchup producer said profit would top estimates, sending shares to their highest in more than 13 years.

Pandora and TiVo are slated to post earnings after the closing bell.

after ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank needs to employ “exceptional measures” to tackle the euro zone debt crisis.

Weekly mortgage applications declined last weekas refinancing demand fell for the fourth-straight week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: )

Coming Up This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Pending home sales, oil inventories, 5-yr note auction, Beige Book; Earnings from Pandora, TiVo
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, personal income & spending, 7-yr note auction, chain-store sales; Earnings from Zumiez
FRIDAY: Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment, factory orders, farm prices, Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech

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